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Need advice on high-end build for Christmas, 2010

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November 11, 2010 5:11:27 AM

Hey guys, Id like to come up with a nice high-end gaming system for my friend. He'll be getting it next year, and I'd like to get a nice bang for the buck with some expensive parts, but not bleeding edge or latest technology

He'll be buying lot of nice quality peripherals like an LED LCD monitor, Razer keyboard, headset etc, so Id like to keep that in mind

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Approximate Purchase Date: Late December, around Christmas

Budget Range: ~ $2500, lower the better, no higher please, should include all shipping, MIR etc

System Usage : Gaming

Parts Not Required: Mouse, OS

Preferred Website(s): Newegg, Amazon

Country: US

Parts Preferences: Intel for CPUs, AMD for video cards, G.Skill for RAM, preferabbly Corsair for PSU

OC: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Monitor Res: 1920x1080

Additional Comments:

We're looking for an Intel based system, please, don't suggest AMD, we don't care for AMD

We're curious if it'd be smarter to go with an i5 or i7 build, will i7 really give us any performance boost in gaming? and is dual-channel possible with an i7 build?

Suggestions for a nice 23-24" LED LCD would be GREAT, should look nice, no built in speakers or square-ish design (ASUS), should look unique if possible

We do not want an SSD, do not recommend one

We're curious as to which cards we should SLI, we'd like to get nice FPS with 1080p resolution on FPS like Bad Company 2, Black Ops, DiRT 2, Battleforge etc, remember, AMD cards please, and we don't wanna spend 2x the price for a card that'll only give say 10 more FPS, we're looking for a best bang for the buck

Case recommendations are welcome, remember it needs to fit the cards you suggest, so something roomy, but we're quite picky bout looks, we don't want a real boxy plain looking case, post what you suggest, the PSU mount should be on the BOTTOM please, we'd also like a WINDOW on the side to see the parts inside

Speaker recommendation please? 2.1 surround sound, nice looks, nice bass, good-quality, trusted brand

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Fire away guys, we could use tonsa help, please provide benchmarks for cards and LINKS please, the more backup with the stuff you provide, the better

Prices should be ESTIMATED, don't post combos or promo codes, we're not getting it now, we just need a feel of what the price will be, we know it'll prob differ by $100 at most, so just post ESTIMATED price for NOW

Thank you for your time everyone

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We still need:

SPEAKERS

PSU (still deciding)
November 11, 2010 5:37:04 AM

A 2011 build IMO would be like this -
CPU - Intel Sandy Bridge
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3922/intels-sandy-bridge-...

Mobo - P67 chipset I guess...

RAM - Overclocking so atleast DDR3 1600MHz or above and preferably tighter timings(7 or lower would be good)

CASE - If you are fine with spending little high on case, then here are few options -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|17-256-059^17-256-059-TS,17-207-003^17-207-003-TS,17-139-010^17-139-010-TS,17-171-057^17-171-057-TS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
And many more, so you can select then...

LCD -
If you want looks as well as performance, then Samsung would be my choice, but there are other monitors as well,...

Video card - ATI is going to launch their HD69xx series, so you might want to check those, also Nvida their GTX 570, so 2 in SLI would also be a good option...
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November 11, 2010 5:46:21 AM

gkay09 said:
A 2011 build IMO would be like this -
CPU - Intel Sandy Bridge
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3922/intels-sandy-bridge-...

Mobo - P67 chipset I guess...

RAM - Overclocking so atleast DDR3 1600MHz or above and preferably tighter timings(7 or lower would be good)

CASE - If you are fine with spending little high on case, then here are few options -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|17-256-059^17-256-059-TS,17-207-003^17-207-003-TS,17-139-010^17-139-010-TS,17-171-057^17-171-057-TS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
And many more, so you can select then...

LCD -
If you want looks as well as performance, then Samsung would be my choice, but there are other monitors as well,...

Video card - ATI is going to launch their HD69xx series, so you might want to check those, also Nvida their GTX 570, so 2 in SLI would also be a good option...


We'd like to go with AMD for GPUs so we're waiting for the 69xx, but won't these be real expensive in Crossfire?

What's so great bout the sandy bridge CPUs?

We willl indeed be getting RAM with CL 7
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Related resources
November 11, 2010 5:53:36 AM

^ I expect the HD 69xx series to be priced around ~$300+, so assuming if they would cost about $350 a card, then ~$700 in total towards the budget or go with a single high-end card for time being and then add 1 more in Crossfire...

As for the Sandbridge, read that article that I linked, it gives a good overview of those CPUs and for its performance overview, this one...
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871/the-sandy-bridge-pre...
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November 11, 2010 5:56:15 AM

Ok well for the PSU, we've decided to go with the Corsair 750HX

Will still be looking cases, is the P67 chipset current, or in the future with sandy bridge?

Will we be looking at 4 or 6 GB? Dual or triple channel?

Could we just do 2 x 6870's?

and will 750W handle crossfire and all this other stuff? Feels like we might want 850, or is 750 definitely enough for everything?
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November 11, 2010 5:59:54 AM

For Sandybridge, I guess it will only be Dual-Channel as Intel would reserve Tri-Channel for the LGA 2011 CPUs(i7 9xx replacements due @Q2 2011)

P67 will be launched side-by-side with the Sandybridge CPUs...

And 2x HD 6870s do offer very good performance if you will be playing at 1080p but if planning for Eyefinity, then you might need more graphics power, again depends on the game and resolution...
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November 11, 2010 6:01:23 AM

Nah no eyefinity, just nice 1080p performance, so 2 x 6870 it is then?

and dual channel, so G.Skill 2 x 2 GB (4GB) of DDR3 @ 1600 MHz

any estimates on how much the P67 would cost?
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November 11, 2010 6:05:16 AM

750W would suffice if going with HD 6870, but anything above, then 800-850W would be a good choice...
Check out the XFX 850W, and Kingwin that I had linked,...they offer good value for money and performance as good as the Corsair or better...
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
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November 11, 2010 6:06:58 AM

When you say would suffice, you mean for a single or 2 6870's?

anything wrong with this CD Burner? http://goo.gl/AXH1T
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November 11, 2010 6:40:59 AM

I meant 2x HD 6870s,...
And that DVD Burner looks pretty good...
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November 11, 2010 6:45:01 AM

I STRONGLY recommend going for a Seasonic PSU if you are buying a high end cpu and dual high end video cards
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November 11, 2010 12:43:14 PM

XFX,Antec, Seasonic, Corsair are the top and only PSU's I'd use.
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November 11, 2010 5:05:44 PM

I forgot to change the title, we're building this in December, NOT 2011, so we're not gonna be doing a sandy bridge build since we won't be waiting for 2011, we'll be doing it around Christmas.

So do you guys recommend an i5 or i7 build for gaming? Will i7's give better performance with gaming or is it unnecessary?

and deceneu what's the advantage of a Seasonic (can you recommend a model or 2 for me) over the Corsair HX?

We still need a case, motherboard, cpu, speakers, monitor and we'll be finalizing our choice on the PSU soon

Recommendations are highly welcome
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November 11, 2010 7:10:42 PM

Mobo: P7P55D-E Pro -$180 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=13-131-621&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Page=2#scrollFullInfo
Case: Cooler Master CM690 II Advanced - $80 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119216
PSU: XFX Black Edition 750W Modular, Silver Certified - $130 (Before $20MIR) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207003
LCD I'll be getting: (its squarish and has speakers but don't get all offended :p ) ASUS VH236HL-P 2ms 23" - $200 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236065
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November 11, 2010 7:18:05 PM

vindictive said:
Mobo: P7P55D-E Pro -$180 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=13-131-621&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Page=2#scrollFullInfo
Case: Cooler Master CM690 II Advanced - $80 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119216
PSU: XFX Black Edition 750W Modular, Silver Certified - $130 (Before $20MIR) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207003
LCD I'll be getting: (its squarish and has speakers but don't get all offended :p ) ASUS VH236HL-P 2ms 23" - $200 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236065


We'd like an window on the side of our case, thank you for your recommendation though

Why the XFX over the Corsair? The Corsair seems much better, I own a 750TX myself so I know Corsair is a good brand

I think we've found an LCD we like from Samsung ;) 

and if you suggest that mobo, then what CPU? Will an i7 be better with gaming than an i5?
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November 11, 2010 7:29:46 PM

An i5 will have similar performance to an i7 for gaming.

The XFX PSU recommended received a near-perfect rating from jonnyguru. It's pretty darn good. It scored (very slightly) better than the Corsair 750 HX, and it had more ponts deducted for aesthetics. Not that the Corsair is bad. Currently the XFX is a better buy, for $10 less than the 750 HX.

With that mobo, get an i5-750/760, don't bother with an i7-8xx.

The most frequently recommended case around here is the HAF 922. I think it's ugly as sin, but a lot of people seem to like it. How much are you willing to spend on a case? I like (and own) the Spedo Advance, but it's more expensive than many cases in that range, and it's certainly not for everyone.
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November 11, 2010 7:36:35 PM

i5 750. (can get 760 but I don't see the point in the $10 if your going to OC)

here: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/109?vs=108&i=47.48.49.50 NOTE: this is the i5 750! I tried putting the i5 760 in because the Ghz would be the same but there wasn't any games listed when the 760 was put in.)
so that shows it being basically even, which means if we wen't with the same ghz, the i5 760 would win. + saves you $80-90 over going with the i7 860.
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November 11, 2010 7:50:42 PM

coldsleep said:
An i5 will have similar performance to an i7 for gaming.

The XFX PSU recommended received a near-perfect rating from jonnyguru. It's pretty darn good. It scored (very slightly) better than the Corsair 750 HX, and it had more ponts deducted for aesthetics. Not that the Corsair is bad. Currently the XFX is a better buy, for $10 less than the 750 HX.

With that mobo, get an i5-750/760, don't bother with an i7-8xx.

The most frequently recommended case around here is the HAF 922. I think it's ugly as sin, but a lot of people seem to like it. How much are you willing to spend on a case? I like (and own) the Spedo Advance, but it's more expensive than many cases in that range, and it's certainly not for everyone.


Thank you, I'm definitely going with the i5-750

I also think the the popular cases like Antec 300 and HAF cases are ugly, which is why we're being very picky, cases seem to lack design which is really disappointing, we got tonsa money to spend on the case, the one you suggested isn't that expensive, however we didn't really like it, we really want a nice unique outstanding case, we're considering the NZXT Phantom, but keep the recommendations coming, we'd love to see more cases

So by choosing the XFX, we just seem to be saving 10 bucks, I have a feeling we should go with the Corsair, unless the XFX provides more than just a 10 dollar savings?

vindictive said:
i5 750. (can get 760 but I don't see the point in the $10 if your going to OC)

here: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/109?vs=108&i=47.48.49.50 NOTE: this is the i5 750! I tried putting the i5 760 in because the Ghz would be the same but there wasn't any games listed when the 760 was put in.)
so that shows it being basically even, which means if we wen't with the same ghz, the i5 760 would win. + saves you $80-90 over going with the i7 860.


Thank you, you contributed to the post above and that really helped me make my final choice in the CPU. I have it myself so Im glad to know I'm not really suffering by not having an i7 CPU, that benchmark is also VERY appreciated, thank you very much

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November 11, 2010 8:06:35 PM

reaper2794 said:
So by choosing the XFX, we just seem to be saving 10 bucks, I have a feeling we should go with the Corsair, unless the XFX provides more than just a 10 dollar savings?


As far as cases go, it sounds like you have a very specific idea of what you're looking for, and no one's taste is matching yours. I'd really recommend just googling "pc case review" and read a lot of reviews until you find one that you like. NZXT has a lot of unique cases, but I have heard that the quality of construction may not always be on par with other companies. I'm sure that varies by model and is largely aimed at the less expensive models.

You're welcome to go with whatever PSU you prefer, obviously. The general consensus on these boards is that the XFX is equivalent to the Corsair 750 HX, and that people should just buy whichever is least expensive at the time they're buying. The XFX is currently $10 cheaper and has an additional $20 MIR, so it could be $30 cheaper overall. I believe the jonnyguru review points out that the XFX is simply a rebranded Seasonic, another quality manufacturer. The XFX also more frequently has combos with graphics cards to reduce the system price further, but doesn't have any at this moment.
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November 11, 2010 8:08:26 PM

I see what you mean coldsleep, thank you, I guess we'll go with the XFX since 30 bucks is nice :)  We'll definitely be keeping an eye on combos as well

It seems there's only 4 SATA connectors instead of 12, aren't we gonna need more than 4?

Now we need speakers...
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November 11, 2010 8:13:31 PM

reaper2794 said:

It seems there's only 4 SATA connectors instead of 12, aren't we gonna need more than 4?


The price could, of course, change by the time you buy, so double-check when you're finalizing your list. :) 

I have the 850W XFX, and all of the SATA cables have 3 connectors on them. I would imagine that the 750W PSU would use the same cables, and would therefore have 12 connectors as well.

I would be surprised if you needed more than 4 (1 for DVD drive, 1 for each HDD), but you will almost certainly not need more than 12..
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November 11, 2010 8:15:09 PM

So I won't have to worry bout a shortage of SATA connectors? and any speakers you recommend that look nice and have 2.1 surround sound at least?
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November 11, 2010 8:18:14 PM

I think we're set for the case, those 3 cases are typical examples of what we'd like to stay away from, we might as well just not have a case if we're gonna go for something like that, we hate boxy designs
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November 11, 2010 8:21:16 PM

hehe :D  still had fun looking at £400 cases xD
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November 11, 2010 8:22:42 PM

Yeah it's ok, we don't mind recommendations, we're just picky

We gotta look at some speakers now I guess, once we have those we're set

Also some cathodes and EL wires I guess...
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November 11, 2010 8:22:51 PM

The mobo should come with at least 3-4 SATA data cables, and the PSU should come with 4 SATA power cables each with 3 connectors (for 12 power connectors total). If you need more data cables, those can generally be bought for relatively cheap.

I'm not really a speaker expert. I bought this last time around, it's decent but not mind-blowing.
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November 11, 2010 8:24:36 PM

Aah ok, I was thinking we were gonna be missing crucial cables, not just simply SATA cables xD Ok we're good then, guess I'll make a separate thread for the speakers and lighting stuff
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November 11, 2010 8:28:20 PM

We know about the Bitfenix Colossus, beautiful case, but not available in the US

Silverstone is eh, too edgy

and nah you're not annoying me :) 
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November 11, 2010 8:34:29 PM

:D  wow, that sucks about the bitfenix... :( 
:D  its the only one i had never seen :) 
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Best solution

November 12, 2010 3:32:12 AM

@Reaper2794 seems you have changed your mind...
As for the parts,
1. CPU - IMO the 760 is a better choice even if you are overclocking...The difference is just $5 and you get a higher multiplier, which is good for overclocking...

2. Mobo - If you want an all-round performer, then the mobo that vindictive linked is the best choice -
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. RAM -
Some good options -
Cheaper than similar GSKillz RAM, but is as good or better -
Mushkin Blackline
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you have planned for a high overclock, then this would be a good option...
CORSAIR XMS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE - One more to the list...
AZZA Hurrican 2000R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
AZZA Hurrican 2000
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4. PSU - +1 for the XFX...Like I said they give a good value for money,...But if your friend generally reuses his PC parts, then the Corsair might have an advantage as it has 7 years warranty, else the 5 Years warranty of the XFX would suffice...

5. LCD - These are slightly costlier, but like I said, Samsung makes some of the beautiful looking displays -
http://www.buy.com/prod/samsung-23-led-backlit-widescre...
http://store.microsoft.com/microsoft/Samsung-XL2370-23-...
http://www.jr.com/samsung/pe/SAM_P2370HD/?JRSource=link...
But there are other good monitors too, so keep your options open...

6. Video Card - Maybe the HD 69xx or the GTX 570, whichever offer better performance/ value...
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November 12, 2010 3:56:47 PM

We're found a monitor and we'll stick with the Ripjaws

The 760 is a better choice so we'll definitely go with that

I'm convinced with the XFX so thank you everyone, although I don't know what's up with that funky green color.. XD

We're also good on the case, thank you :) 

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November 18, 2010 10:56:08 PM

Best answer selected by Reaper2794.
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